Treatments for stage 1 nasopharyngeal cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 1 nasopharyngeal cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.

Radiation therapy

External beam radiation therapy is the main treatment for stage 1 nasopharyngeal cancer. A machine is used to direct radiation to the tumour and may also be given to lymph nodes in the neck (cervical lymph nodes) as a preventive measure.

The type of external beam radiation therapy most commonly used for stage 1 nasopharyngeal cancer is intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).


Surgery may be used to completely remove a small tumour that has not grown beyond the nasopharynx. The type of surgery used is a nasopharyngectomy, which removes part of the nasopharynx.

Clinical trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials open to people with nasopharyngeal cancer in Canada. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society . Nasopharyngeal Cancer . 2015 :
  • National Cancer Institute . Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®) Health Professional Version . 2015 :
  • Ng WT, Ngan RKC, Chan SH, et al . Management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Bernier J (ed.). Head and Neck Cancer: Multimodality Management. Springer; 2016: 26: 445 - 473.